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The use of epifluorescent microscopy and quantitative polymerase chain reaction to determine the presence/absence and identification of microorganisms associated with domestic and foreign wallboard samples

Utilized by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for a U.S. Congressional hearing
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Abstract

Epifluorescent microscopy and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) were utilized to determine the presence, concentration and identification of bacteria, and more specifically sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) in subsamples of Chinese and North American wallboard, and wallboard-mine rock. Bacteria were visible in most subsamples, which included wallboard-lining paper from each side of the wallboard, wallboard filler, wallboard tape and fragments of mined wallboard rock via microscopy. Observed bacteria occurred as single or small clusters of cells and no mass aggregates indicating colonization were noted. Universal 16S qPCR was utilized to directly examine samples and detected bacteria at concentrations ranging from 1.4 x 103 to 6.4 x 104 genomic equivalents per mm2 of paper or per gram of wallboard filler or mined rock, in 12 of 41 subsamples. Subsamples were incubated in sulfate reducing broth for ~30 to 60 days (enrichment assay) and then analyzed by universal 16S and SRB qPCR. Enrichment universal 16S qPCR detected bacteria in 32 of 41 subsamples at concentrations ranging from 1.5 x 104 to 4.2 x 107 genomic equivalents per ml of culture broth. Evaluation of enriched subsamples by SRB qPCR demonstrated that SRB were not detectable in most of the samples and if they were detected, detection was not reproducible (an indication of low concentrations, if present). Enrichment universal 16S and SRB qPCR demonstrated that viable bacteria were present in subsamples (as expected given exposure of the samples following manufacture, transport and use) but that SRB were either not present or present at very low numbers. Further, no differences in trends were noted between the various Chinese and North American wallboard samples. In all, the microscopy and qPCR data indicated that the suspected ‘sulfur emissions’ emanating from suspect wallboard samples is not due to microbial activity.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
Other Report
Title:
The use of epifluorescent microscopy and quantitative polymerase chain reaction to determine the presence/absence and identification of microorganisms associated with domestic and foreign wallboard samples
Year Published:
2011
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description:
29 p.
Larger Work Type:
Report
Larger Work Subtype:
Other Report
Country:
United States